Canada’s continued economic prosperity relies on the successful diversification of its markets, which requires a comprehensive strategy to improve trade ties with the Asia-Pacific, given the Canadian government’s argument that strong economic growth has made that region a key priority. The authors of this Jr. Fellows policy brief conclude that Canada can strengthen its relationship with the Asia-Pacific through its humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR). Over the past three decades, the Asia-Pacific region has experienced the sharpest rise in the frequency and impact of natural disasters, exposing people and assets to increased risks, making HADR a key security matter in the region. To improve its economic and diplomatic standing in the Asia-Pacific, Canada should adopt a “whole-of-crisis” approach to HADR. This entails Canada supporting information sharing on past disasters to build up regional inventory, Canadian experts leveraging their experience to assist Southeast Asian countries, and leveraging its e-navigation development and implementation experience. 

The CIGI Junior Fellows program at the Balsillie School of International Affairs provides masters level students with mentorship opportunities from senior scholars and policy makers. Working under the direction of a project leader, each junior fellow conducts research in one of CIGI’s program areas. This series presents those policy briefs that met CIGI’s publications standards.